Wilson back, ASM benched & 5 changes – Predicted Newcastle side to start vs Man City

After Thursday night’s trip to Anfield, it doesn’t get much easier for Newcastle United as Man City come to town for today’s 2pm kick off at St James’ Park.

Eddie Howe has all but confirmed there’ll be a few changes for this one, insisting he’ll need to rotate to keep his players fresh over the festive period.

Here’s the side we can see starting and why:

(4-5-1): Dubravka – Krafth, Schar, Lascelles, Ritchie – Joelinton, Shelvey, S Longstaff, Willock, Almiron – Wilson.

There’ll be a temptation to go with five at the back given City come in fresh from a 7-0 win over Leeds, but it’s not Howe’s style to park the bus. He didn’t do it at Anfield, so I can’t see him doing that at St James’ Park.

With that in mind, I can see Krafth coming in for Manquillo, who may need a rest after a few tough games against Barnes and Mane.

Ritchie will come in at left-back in Lewis’ absence, while rotation in midfield could also hand a rare opportunity to Sean Longstaff; whose fresh legs and pressing could come in handy against City.

Willock may also return to give us an option to support our attack on the counter. With Shelvey so key in helping us keep the ball and release forwards on the break, that could mean Hayden misses out?

Out wide, Joelinton and Almiron could be key in protecting both our full-backs (Almiron’s energy could be key in tracking the elusive Cancelo), while Wilson may return up top after being rested in midweek.

This would mean Saint-Maximin misses out. He may be unable to play after picking up a knock on Thursday night, but even if he’s fit, this may be a good time to keep him fresh for upcoming games against Man Utd and Everton.

Fraser had one of his best games in a black and white shirt at Liverpool, but he’s another we may want to save for upcoming games; especially when his recent injury record may not agree with him playing two tough games in the space of a few days.

No description available.

OUT – Manquillo, Lewis, Hayden, Fraser and Saint-Maximin.

IN – Krafth, Ritchie, S Longstaff, Almiron and Wilson.

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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